Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that China and Pakistan have come together and said this is a very dangerous thing that has happened because the government “mishandled” foreign policy.
The government should admit its mistakes and take corrective measures, he told a press conference.
It should tell the country as to what has happened at the border with China and only then can the opposition support and help the government, Gandhi said while responding to a question on the government not allowing a discussion in Parliament on the border dispute with China.
The former Congress chief said the objective of India’s foreign policy earlier, during previous governments, was to successfully separate China and Pakistan. “This was our central concept even during UPA-2 (United Progressive Alliance),” he said.
“Today Pakistan and China are together and this is not a simple thing. This is a very serious thing and it is very dangerous. This has happened because our government mishandled foreign policy as it has not understood the broad structure of our foreign policy,” the Congress leader said.
“Now that China and Pakistan are together, there is a risk and they will together do something. The first step was Doklam and the second step was taken in Ladakh, and in my viewpoint this is preparation. If it is not, well and good, but I feel they are preparing. I am telling the government that it is not if, it is when. We have to prepare,” he said. He said the government has to hear out the army, air force, and navy, and respect them.
“This means that what you are using politically, you will have to stop doing that,” Gandhi noted and said the country has take precautions, both military and non-military.
“You do not have to hide what is going on at the border as China, which has usurped 2,000 square kilometres of our land, is getting the message that India is not concerned as the prime minister has said that no one entered our land. So, we have to tell China clearly that it has entered into our land and has to go,” he said.
“The government is in a confusion over this and I want this confusion to end. When I talk about this, the government says you are discussing the armed forces. But, I am not talking about the army but I am talking about the government. There is a difference between them,” Gandhi said.
The government has taken a “wrong decision” and it should not “hide” behind the army, navy, and air force, the Congress leader said.
“The government should own up that what it has done is wrong and should take corrective steps. We will help them and the entire opposition will help the government, but it should first tell what has happened,” he said.
Gandhi said he comes from a family of “shaheeds” as his father Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother Indira Gandhi were “martyred”, and he can feel the pain of a martyrs family.
“When a youth is motivated to give his life and when he is martyred, I can understand what his family feels,” he said.
“I know, I can feel and understand, but no one in the BJP top leadership understands this feeling. No one in their family was martyred, but I clearly understand this feeling. I want that no soldiers of ours is martyred. This has been my position from the start,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader said he does not want that “we take this issue casually that we use the damage to our soldiers and their families for political advantage”. “This is sacrosanct for me,” he said.
Gandhi said he understands the difficulties soldiers face at the borders be it in Siachen or in the Himalayas. “I love every soldier and I do not want anyone to get hurt. When national leadership does not work strategically in international relations, then a geo-political response comes immediately,” he said.
Gandhi alleged that as far as China is concerned, the government has completely mishandled the China issue.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)